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A few weeks ago, we did a preview of Microsoft Baseball 2001. At the time, it looked like the game could be a major contender in the PC baseball arena, assuming the price remained at $20, multiplayer support of some type was added, and a few important gameplay issues were addressed.
Unfortunately, it seems none of this has happened, and with Sammy Sosa High Heat Baseball 2001 on the shelves (for the same price or cheaper in some cases), Microsoft Baseball 2001 just can't compete, pretty graphics or not. Give this one another year or two and hope it matures into a game you could settle down with.
After several games, batting has become much easier. It is rare that any of my Dodgers strike out anymore. I have horrible problems avoiding double plays, though. It seems that every time I have a runner on first and the opposing infield moves to “double play depth” (whatever depth THAT is), I hit a grounder right to second, or to the pitcher. Pitching works much the same as batting. I prefer the view from behind the mound for pitching, and when I bat I’m behind the plate. Seems logical enough. The pitching system works nearly identical to the batting system. You choose from the various pitches that the particular pitcher knows, and then you aim them wherever you please (preferably not at the batter’s head). If you view from behind the pitcher’s head you can see the catcher giving you signs, too. Unfortunately, I have no clue which sign means what pitch.
Dieses Jahr hat sich Microsoft in Sachen Sparsamkeit selbst übertroffen: Die CD-ROM liegt jetzt in einer einfarbigen Plastikhülle im Karton, dafür gibt's ein dürftiges Handbuch in Zeitungs-Qualität. Einige spieltechnische Bugs und die Tatsache, dass Sie einem Computer-Home-Run per Speichern und Laden entgehen können, dämpfen jedoch die Freude über den neuen Karriere-Modus. High Heat Baseball 2001
The throw comes into second and Microsoft is called out. Oh my, that's a running error if I've ever seen one. That's too bad, hopefully Microsoft will be a little wiser the next time up at the plate. I'm sure the coach and manager aren't too concerned though, Microsoft Baseball 2001 certainly has more at bats coming in the future and besides, Microsoft's contract came fairly cheap. It's still unfortunate that the young kid hasn't lived up to his potential yet, but the future remains bright. Next batter, Play ball!
The good news is that 99 percent of the game's problems should be plenty fixable with a patch or two. Whether or not Microsoft addresses the problems remains to be seen, but if it does, then Baseball 2001 could easily challenge Sammy Sosa High Heat 2001 as the best baseball game on the market. However, until then, Microsoft Baseball 2001 is a game you should play at your own risk.
Baseball 2001 is a strange animal: It's both Jekyll (great sim engine) and Hyde (disappointing gameplay).
A grandiose scale and a ton of new features cannot make up for poor execution in gameplay. There’s no denying the impressive graphics, nice new financial model and vastly improved statistics tracking. I nearly fell in love with playing General Manager and feel it’s important to note how much potential rests in this sort of offering. We’d be doing the sport an injustice to ask Microsoft to hang up their cleats at this juncture. With some added time for polish on the stats and fiscal models, and a lot of attention payed to the action mode this could be the ultimate in baseball simulations. For this version however, any chance these boys of summer had of making it to the post season were traded away with the horrible artificial intelligence and awful sound effects.
BASEBALL 2001 improves on its predecessor in some ways, but still doesn’t measure up to HIGH HEAT. Yet. But the inclusion of the BASEBALL MOGUL module is a nice touch that suggests that the designers are aggressively seeking a title. This could pay off big in next year’s edition.